Oracle's Database Appliance certified for SAP software

The move will pit Oracle's appliance for SMBs against SAP's HANA Edge edition

Some of SAP's software products are now certified for use with Oracle's Database Appliance, which is essentially a streamlined version of its Exadata machine aimed at small and medium-size businesses.

All SAP products based on versions 7.0 and higher of the vendor's NetWeaver middleware can be used with the database appliance, which was released in September 2011, according to an official Oracle blog post. The products must also be certified for Oracle database version 11g Release 2.

Single-node or RAC (Real Application Clusters) deployments are supported, but not Oracle's RAC One Node option.

SAP application instances can't actually be run on the Database Appliances, however. Instead, they must be installed on separate machines, with an Ethernet connection for data exchange with the Appliance, according to an Oracle white paper.

This falls in line with the three-tier architecture common to SAP, and provides customers with some advantages, according to Oracle.

It "allows for any combination of hardware and operating systems running the SAP instances to be used with the Oracle Database Appliance," the white paper states. "So for example you can run or keep existing SAP Application servers on AIX or HP-UX platforms connected to the Oracle Database Appliance. This flexibility allows for an easy introduction of the Oracle Database Appliance in existing SAP environments as it leaves the SAP application layer unchanged."

Only SAP's database administration tools and SAP Central Services are supported to run on Oracle's appliance, according to the white paper.

The Database Appliance runs most of the software components associated with Exadata, which is aimed at large enterprises. The appliance's hardware components include two servers, 192GB of RAM, 24 cores, 12TB of raw disk storage and 292GB of solid-state disk. List price is US$50,000, with Oracle database licenses sold separately.

Oracle's announcement comes some months after SAP introduced a version of its HANA in-memory database for SMBs, HANA Edge.

SAP is hoping to displace Oracle databases over time from within its installed base, with key work ongoing to support running SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) software on HANA.

With HANA, SAP also seems to be moving away from the three-tier architecture model, recently announcing that a software update for the platform will provide native application server capabilities.

HANA is sold in appliance form using hardware from a number of vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Dell.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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